This year, I decided to do something different for Fred Van Lente Day, I’m going to review one issue of Ivar, Timewalker a day, leading up to Fred Van Lente Day!
We continue with Ivar, Timewalker #9, by Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez and Andrew Dalhouse…
In a very clever opening, this issue begins with the origin of the Anni-Padda brothers (Ivar the Timewalker, Gilad the Eternal Warrior and Aram AKA Armstrong) in a direct re-purposing of some pages from Archer and Armstrong #1 (by Van Lente, Clayton Henry and Matt Milla), only at the end, their origin is interrupted by a time-traveling Neela, who needs Ivar from the past (BEFORE he became a Timewalker) to save the lost Ivar of the present. Clever, right?
Anyhow, when we last left off, Neela had invented the ability to not just TRAVEL through time, but outright alter it, which is causing a large amount of alternate realities and this device has allowed the evil group of nihilists (who were once led by the evil future version of Neela) to begin ERASING alternate realities until there is only one reality left, a reality where the Big Bang never took place.
The problem, of course, as shown hilariously in this issue, is that with an increase in alternate realities, there is also an increased chance of the alternate realities being really dumb…
Working with an earlier, less evolved version of Ivar is naturally trouble for Neela, but the one thing they have in common is that both of them are driven by the desire to fix their mistakes. Ivar of the past is trying to bring his brother Gilad back to life (this is what leads to the brothers becoming immortals) while Neela is trying to fix the machine she invented – it is an interesting shared bond.
The multiverses lead Perez and Dalhouse to have to draw some weeeeird stuff (weirder visuals than even clown vikings!) and they handle it all extremely well. The cliffhanger involves some of those weird visuals I mentioned, as Neela and Ivar get stuck in a particularly strange alternate reality.
Meanwhile, Ivar is being tracked by some sort of “time court,” who are mad at him for the stuff he has done messing with time.
The whole thing comes together really well – Van Lente juggles a lot of plots in this opening arc and he does so very nicely.
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